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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Patriots Start to Remember that Brady Needs People to Throw the Ball to This Season

Some more good news emerged today on the Patriots' free agency front: they re-signed Julian Edelman (terms were not disclosed) and inked fellow wide receiver Brandon LaFell to a three-year deal. This still doesn't solve everything in the passing game, LaFell is big (6-foot-2, 210 pounds) but I'd love to see them get a more proven guy that has similar size. They could also use a better backup tight end than Michael Hoomanawanui because who knows if Gronk will ever stay healthy again.

Edelman made himself very important to New England's success last season as he had a career year with 105 catches, 1056 receiving yards and six touchdowns. Plus he's an excellent punt returner, averaging 10.7 yards per return. 2013 was the first time in five NFL seasons that Edelman played all 16 games. It's amazing what guys can do when they stay on the field. Most Patriots fans (myself included) doubted him but he turned out to be a suitable Wes Welker replacement which was supposed to be Danny Amendola's job. I thought he might go to his hometown Niners when they hosted him for a visit but I guess he realizes that you can't duplicate the chemistry he developed with Tom Brady over the years.

As for LaFell, who the hell knows? Last season was his fourth in the NFL (all in Carolina) and he put up career-highs in catches (49) and receiving touchdowns (5) while also coming close in receiving yards (627). The Panthers run a completely different offense based around Cam Newton's dual threat capabilities so you can't put too much stock into his numbers either way. I guess we'll just have to wait until training camp and hope that he can find comfort with Brady where most free agent receivers in the past have failed. He was a third round pick (78th overall) out of LSU in 2010.

UPDATE 3/18: Edelman's deal is four years for a base value of $17 million with $8 million in bonuses and guarantees and $2 million in incentives.

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